My oldest son and I were standing in line at the grocery store the other night waiting to buy a few things. It was busy, and some guy two customers ahead of us was taking forever, paying with what seemed like nickels. Trying to pass the time, Zach picked up a People magazine. “Look what they do to celebrities.” He showed me a picture of Britney Spears – at least I think it was her. Whoever it was, she looked like she’d seen better days.
“When you are a famous singer, the same thing is going to happen to you.” I use the term “when” because you have to believe in order to make something happen. “Are you gonna be able to handle it?”
“I guess I’ll have to.” At this point, there is nothing that could dissuade him from pursuing a career in music. And like his bull-headed father, if he sets his mind to something, there’s usually no stopping him.
“You’d better get ready then,” I said, “because once you are a rock star, your life will be different. For one thing, I’ll be living in YOUR house instead of you living in mine. FYI, your dad and I like oceanfront. For another, people won’t ever leave you alone. You will be under the microscope. Paparazzi will follow you everywhere. Screaming fans will mob you when you go to Target. You’d better be prepared for the worst. And that People magazine, chances are, YOU will end up on the cover at some point, and it may or may not be to your benefit.”
I decided to show him what could happen. Yeah, I made this up…
“Oh my God,” he laughed when he saw this. “Where did you get that picture?”
“Don’t worry about where I got it. Just know that if I can get it, anyone can. Also, you can snicker about it all you want, but when you are calling me in the middle of the night to say that you are out of Xanax, and that you can’t handle all the stress of life anymore, don’t say that I didn’t warn you.”
“You worry too much, Mom.” He walked away, a bag of Maltesers in his hand. That’s his favourite candy.
“I wouldn’t eat those if I were you,” I called after him sarcastically.
As for his “I’m a worrier” accusation, he’s got me there. I’m a mother. What does he expect?